The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

It's A Crime

Over on the Big Finish website, they’ve announced the forthcoming release of another Doctor Who audio adventure by me, The Crimes Of Thomas Brewster. It’s also mentioned in the current issue of Doctor Who Magazine, which also features part 2 of a comic strip I wrote called The Golden Ones.

The play was written in late April/early May of this year and recorded on the 12th and 13th of July. It features the Colin Baker Doctor Who and Maggie Stables as his companion Evelyn (both of whom I last wrote for back in 2000 with Bloodtide) plus John Pickard as Thomas Brewster (a character I created back in 2007 in The Haunting Of Thomas Brewster) and Anna Hope as DI Menzies (a character created by Eddie Robson, also back in 2007, in The Condemned). One Doctor, three companions. Or is there more to it than that? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to buy the CD or download the files, okay, there’s two ways to find out, I’ll come in again, there are only two ways to find out, and both of them involve waiting until it is released in January 2011. It also stars David Troughton as the gangster Ray Gallagher. David Troughton has been in loads of things – most memorably, as Bob Buzzard in the sublime A Very Peculiar Practice – plus a few Doctor Whos over the years. Apparently he’s related to one of the Doctor Who actors.

The most unusual, and for me interesting, thing about writing this one was that because I had included a character Eddie had created (I’d written a synopsis including a female police officer character in the hope that it would occur to the producers to suggest I replace her with DI Menzies) and because Eddie’s story would include a character I’d created – Thomas Brewster – that rather than have us both write several drafts of our own stories, we’d switch, and write the second draft of each other’s story. Fresh pair of eyes, objective distance and all that. And then do the third and final draft on our own stories ourselves. The result being that the story that no-one is yet abbreviating to TCOTB is about 75 per cent me and 25 per cent Eddie, and Eddie’s story, Industrial Evolution, is about the same ratio but the other way around. So fans of Eddie can attribute all the good bits in both plays to him, and blame me for all the rubbish bits. Of which there are, of course, none.

Anyway, the point is, I think both plays were much, much improved as a result, with us both punching up each other’s dialogue, fleshing out each other’s characters and spotting and solving each other’s plot holes. As an experiment in co-writing, I think it worked, and one I’d be happy to repeat.